18 Oct 2020

Covid-19: Premier says 55 Kiwis travelled to Victoria

11:48 pm on 18 October 2020

The Victorian Premier says 55 New Zealanders have entered Victoria - not 17, as previously reported.

Airplane in the sky at sunset

Photo: 123RF

In a press conference today, Andrews said Victoria authorities had been alerted to the increased number of breaches by Australia's federal government.

Meanwhile, it was revealed tonight that 24 New Zealanders are in hotel quarantine in Perth after arriving overnight through the new trans-Tasman travel bubble.

A child who also arrived with the group is in quarantine with family.

The Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan says it now means there will be 25 fewer places for Western Australians trying to fly back from vulnerable countries.

He said the group was detected after they arrived in Perth but that they could have been detected earlier if Western Australia had been provided with flight passenger manifests.

"Our system has worked - we've managed to pick these people up. We've put them into quarantine but it would just be better if we had proper communication," McGowan said.

In Victora, while 17 breaches had initially been reported, it has now been revealed that 55 Kiwis travelled to the state.

Andrews said that 23 of the travellers had been tracked down, at 16 addresses.

"So this is 'gold standard', apparently, according to the Federal Government. 'Gold standard', a term that has been used quite a bit," he said.

Australia's Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews speaks during a press conference in Melbourne on July 15, 2020, as the city battles fresh outbreaks of the COVID-19 coronavirus while under lockdown.

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews Photo: AFP

The acting federal immigration minister Alan Tudge had previously blamed the state government for not restricting interstate travel, which allowed the New Zealanders to breach the established travel bubble.

According to the Andrews, Victoria had not wanted to be in a travel bubble with New Zealand.

"So the very fact that we have done what the Prime Minister wants us to do and keep our border open, then we get asked, do you want to be in a New Zealand bubble and we say no, and now we find we are, so, we would actually be better off if we had done what the Federal Government has criticised every day and twice on Sundays for months, close our borders," he said.

"There will be a time when of course we do and hopefully we get the reciprocal arrangement and Australians can go to New Zealand, although I would be commending all Victorians to stay in Victoria and spend up big in Victoria rather than going to New Zealand."

Yesterday, Andrews said officials had "absolutely no power" to detain the travellers from New Zealand.

"Our officers have absolutely no power to stop someone, to detain someone in those circumstances, particularly given they were coming from a very low-virus part of the world," he said.


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